Robert Louis Stevenson is known for his literary contributions in the 17th century in various genres. Here are his best 10 poems.
‘The Yellow Dot,’ written in remembrance of poet Jane Kenyon, is about the inevitability of death and God’s despotic ruling over humankind. It was published in Robert Bly’s best-known collection, Morning Poems (1997).
‘This Is Not a Small Voice’ by Sonia Sanchez is a well-loved poem that celebrates the power of Black men, women, and children, as well as their communities.
‘I Shall Paint My Nails Red’ by Carole Satyamurti is a poem about why a female speaker painted her nails. The simple premise is made more complicated as she lists out the reasons why she painted her nails red.
‘Of Treason’ by John Harington is a two-line poem that uses humor and wit to describes the nature of successful and unsuccessful treason.
‘The Hippopotamus’ by Hilaire Belloc is an amusing short poem that describes shooting a hippopotamus with platinum bullets.
‘To John Keats, Poet, at Spring Time’ by Countee Cullen is a poem about spring and poetry. It is addressed to John Keats and spends its lines praising spring and the deceased poet’s influence.
‘Dream Boogie’ by Langston Hughes is a poem about jazz, creativity, and the oppression of Black Americans. It was written during the Harlem Renaissance.
‘On Getting Out of Vietnam’, written by American poet Howard Nemerov, is a symbolic poem based on the US’s involvement in Vietnam War (1955-1975). It alludes to the Greek legend of Theseus and the Minotaur.
William Stafford shows his unique style of writing, the use of imagery, and symbolism in his poem ‘Monuments for a Friendly Girl at a Tenth Grade Party.’ He uses flashbacks to his school days when he first met his childhood love, Ruth, and felt “alive.”
William Stafford’s ‘An Introduction to Some Poems’ is about the role of budding poets. The speaker says that every life is worth writing about, and a writer’s work is to share “authentic” human experiences.
‘Change Upon Change’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning is a poem about lost love and change. The poet depicts her internal changes through images of the changing seasons.
‘Northern Pike’ by James Wright is a beautiful poem written from the perspective of a man on a fishing trip.
Published in Robert Bly’s award-winning collection, The Light Around the Body (1967), ‘The Great Society’ satirizes the set of domestic programs launched by Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964-65 by presenting contrasting imagery from contemporary American society.
‘Never Trust a Mirror’ by Erin Hanson is a poem about beauty and self-worth. The poet describes the untrustworthy nature of a mirror and how one shouldn’t take what they see in it for granted.
‘Good-bye Fox’ by Mary Oliver is a thoughtful poem that explores the meaning of life. It includes a conversation between a fox and a human being.
Published in Shadow Train (1981), John Ashbery’s ‘Hard Times’ is about the poet’s take on the modern world and its future. It showcases people’s ignorance of the issues that troubles Ashbery the most.
‘The Heavy Bear Who Goes With Me’ by Delmore Schwartz is the poet’s best-known piece. It explores the division between the mind and body.
‘Then I Saw What the Calling Was’ by Muriel Rukeyser is a beautiful and complicated poem that speaks about life and experience.
‘Who Said It Was Simple’ by Audre Lorde is a powerful poem about the inequalities in various civil rights movements during the poet’s lifetime.
‘New Day’s Lyric’ by Amanda Gorman is poem written at the end of 2021 in order to usher in a more hopeful new year in 2022. The piece explores themes of hope and change.
‘The Pride of Lions’ by Joanna Preston describes what happens after a speaker’s husband is transformed into a lion. It presents a message about what relationships require in order to be successful.
Published in John Ashbery’s award-winning poetry collection, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975), the poem ‘Forties Flick’ is a postmodern, nostalgic lyric on film noir of the “classic period.” This piece vividly portrays a trademark scene of Hollywood crime dramas of the 1940s.
‘Money, O!’ by W.H Davies is a poem that argues that having a lot of money is not all that it’s cracked up to be. While being well off financially comes with its benefits, it comes at the expense of genuine relationships.
‘Reapers’ by Jean Toomer is a thoughtful poem about oppression. It is depicted through a very poetic and memorable metaphor depicting field workers and a mower.
‘The Poem as Mask’ by Muriel Rukeyser is a powerful, feminist poem that speaks to the poet’s experiences in life and with her poetry.
‘November Cotton Flower’ by Jean Toomer is a powerful extended metaphor for the lives of Black men, women, and children in the southern United States. It alludes to slavery and the hope that the Civil Rights Movement presented.
‘Wanting to Die’ by Anne Sexton is a poem about the poet’s desire to take her own life. It was written close to ten years before she committed suicide.
‘Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field one Night’ by Walt Whitman is an emotional poem that describes a soldier’s night-time vigil alongside the body of his fallen comrade.
‘Broadway’ by Walt Whitman is a short, effective poem that speaks to the nature of contemporary life. It focuses in on one street in New York City.